- This year, over 180 foreign companies including some from China took part in the exhibition.
- Overall, Tanzania’s trade with the outside world is marked by export of minerals and agricultural produce.
Across Tanzania, no exhibition can outmatch the Sabasaba trade expo, a platform that the East African country is using every year to showcase investment potential.
“Sabasaba” which translates to “seventh day” in Swahili, denotes Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) tradition of going down during the first week of July, typically starting on the 7th of the month. The expo serves as a platform for local and international businesses to showcase their products and services, fostering trade and economic development in the region.
Sabasaba trade expo promoting industries
It attracts a diverse range of exhibitors and visitors from various industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, technology, tourism, and more. The Sabasaba Trade Expo has become an important event for networking, market expansion, and promoting business opportunities in Tanzania as the country seeks to dethrone Kenya as East Africa’s largest economy.
Over 180 foreign companies were reportedly taking part in this year’s DITF. They include a Chinese company, a move that marks an important turning point in Tanzania-China business relations.
“I am entrepreneur and serial attendant of the trade fair for the past 15 years,” Jamshidi Chaurembo, a DITF said during the expo now on its 47th year.
Standing on the theme “Tanzania is your right destination for business and investment” the expo which is organised by Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade)signals the country’s strong show of intent to become East Africa’s trade and investment destination.
Across the country, Sabasaba trade expo holds a sentimental value to Tanzania as it presents a unique platform for businesses gauging their capabilities against global standards while tying up international business connections.
Under the patronage of TanTrade, DITF is crucial stage for Tanzania and the rest of the region in showcasing talent and capabilities in trade.
Over the past years, the government of Tanzania via TanTrade has been making SabaSaba the best platform for traders through several upgrades.
The fair chairman Athumani Makole says the expo is getting an international look and feel. The latter includes providing identification cards (ID’s) to all traders at the market, catering for uniforms to all cart drivers to ensure smooth execution of operations.
Amid other trade fair exposing the vast potential the region exhibits, such as Kenya International Trade Exhibition (KITE), Lagos International Trade Fair (LIFT) and Intra-African Trade Fair (IAFT), Tanzania holds the potential to perform better.
Trade in Tanzania
Tanzania’s trade experience has been a mixed bag of fortunes in recent years. According to TanzaniaInvest, Tanzania’s trade balance resulted in a trade deficit of $1.3 billion in 2019.
“However, the trade gap shrank by 65 percent over the past five years from $3.6 billion in 2015. During the same period, exports of goods from Tanzania rose by nine percent, from $8.9 billion to $9.7 billion. Imports decreased by 12 percent from $12.5 billion to $9.7 billion,” TanzaniaInvest reports.
Overall, Tanzania’s trade with the outside world is mainly marked by exportation of minerals, manufactured goods, crops, fish and fish products and horticultural products. With the DITF expanding and featuring more business, businesses in the sector look set to realize better returns from overseas trading partners.
Some of the prime export destinations for Tanzania are China, Germany, Japan, India, European Union and United Kingdom.
Across Africa, the East African country is banking on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to tap into emerging trading zones. Tanzania Parliament ratified the agreement of establishing AfCTA on September 2021.
AfCFTA seeks to cover a market of 1.2 billion people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion across all 55 member states. Participating in AfCFTA implies that Tanzania consents to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, tariffs on 90 percent of products traded under the AfCFTA.
AFCFTA seeks to eliminate tariffs
“Participating in AfCFTA implies that Tanzania consents to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, tariffs on 90 percent of products traded under the AfCFTA,” TanzaniaInvest report commented.
Tanzania long focused ambition of becoming an industrialized economy is coupled with policy shifts and law change over the past decade, particularly in the mining and trade and investment sector.
Data from Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) points that Tanzania investment value rose to $8.6 billion in the last two years. The growth is partly attributable to President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s business approach to restore both domestic and foreign investors trust and confidence.
Thus the DITF stands to aid local traders attract competent business partners and showcase potential necessary to boost the nation’s industrial base.
DIFT spring boarding trade
SabaSaba offers wide variety of services, commodities and education for both customers and investors. The four-decade-old platform is not only becoming mainstream every year due to upgrade, but essential as Tanzania reinforces its economic growth ambition.
Jonathan Mushi, a local exhibitor across the transportation technology from Haojue, brought transformative motorcycles (relied form of transport in Tanzania) that could change the game.
“I am here as an exhibitor. We brought new forms of bikes that run 80Km/ph on one litre of fuel only.” Jonathan commented. He further expressed his interest in the fair and its vitality to local enterprises. “The fair is excellently organized, especially the setups, roads, electricity and other affairs related to a well-functioning fair” he said.
Local companies such as Bagamoyo Sugar showcased exemplary sugar cane farming technology. The latter is important for establishing superior offering, credibility and attract international clients and partners.
TanTrade unique positioned SabaSaba to drive local business forward and give them a vantage point, something crucial to drive Tanzania towards becoming a business hub.
DITF offers exhibitors front row seat with high end clients and partners to analyze their products and services. The fair also enables all local companies and innovators to acquire real time feedback to improve their services and products according to international standards.
Tanzania’s export procedures
Further down the line, DITF is a significant ground for exhibitors to become stronger in all fronts.These companies are highly encouraged and engage in networking activities, attend industry-related events, and participate in Business to Business (B2B) meetings.
Another win is for companies aspiring to sell or offer services outside Tanzania must ensure they are ready for export. The latter includes thorough comprehension of export procedures, compliance with international trade regulations, and logistics considerations.
Also, these companies seek guidance from trade experts, government agencies, and trade associations to navigate these aspects effectively.